DEMANDING FACTORY AUTOMATION NEEDS FLEXIBLE COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
Wireless communication networks will facilitate current and enable future industrial applications, if interoperability issues are overcome and full flexibility is accessible. However, the currently employed wired networks, especially in demanding factory automation applications, are rigid in their communication protocol and their physical structure. Moreover, they will not be completely replaced by a more flexible and retrofittable wireless network in the near future. In order to support the deployment of wireless communication networks, hybrid wired-wireless networks have to be developed. Here, the cooperation of wired and wireless network has to be efficient to fulfill the challenging industrial requirements and maintain the wired network's performance.